Dare to Lead By Brené Brown

Dare to Lead By Brené Brown Pdf

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Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead. Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it and work to align authority and accountability. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into the vulnerability that’s necessary to do good work. But daring leadership in a culture that’s defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty requires building courage skills, which are uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the same time we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection and courage to start. Brene Brown spent the past two decades researching the emotions that give meaning to our lives. Over the past seven years, she found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial start-ups and family-owned businesses to non-profits, civic organizations and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same questions- How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders? And, how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? Dare to Lead answers these questions and gives us actionable strategies and real examples from her new research-based, courage-building programme. Brene writes, ‘One of the most important findings of my career is that courage can be taught, developed and measured. Courage is a collection of four skill sets supported by twenty-eight behaviours. All it requires is a commitment to doing bold work, having tough conversations and showing up with our whole hearts. Easy? No. Choosing courage over comfort is not easy. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and work. It’s why we’re here.’

Summary of Dare to Lead By Brené Brown

Author Brené Brown asked leaders what they need to succeed in a complicated, fast changing world while interviewing them for her book. While the comments were varied, one theme emerged repeatedly: “We need braver leaders and more courageous communities.” When Brown asked these leaders what courage and fearless leadership looked like, they all agreed that courage is something you either have or don’t have. They also had little trouble identifying negative behaviors and cultural norms that undermined trust and boldness. The first issue is that we avoid having difficult talks, such as delivering honest, constructive comments. Some leaders blame their lack of courage on a lack of abilities, while more than half blame it on a cultural norm of “pleasant and polite” that is utilized to avoid difficult confrontations. As a result, there is a lack of clarity, which reduces trust and engagement while also encouraging passive-aggressive conduct such as talking behind people’s backs. While this may be a cultural issue in many companies and organizations, the basis of this lack of courage is founded in long-standing human concerns.
Brown and her team discovered a very obvious, very encouraging discovery of courage as a result of their research: Courage is made up of four different skill sets that may be taught, observed, and measured. Rumbling with vulnerability, living our ideals, risking trust, and learning to rise are some of them. You’ll learn about the core abilities of courage-building that you’ll need to become a courageous leader throughout Dare to Lead. The tools, techniques, and behaviors necessary for creating muscle memory for living these concepts will subsequently be supplied. Finally, you’ll have everything you need to become the most courageous leader possible.
What does vulnerability entail? Author Brené Brown has spent the last two decades studying vulnerability. She believes that vulnerability is about having the guts to show up when you can’t control the result, not about winning or losing. So, how does vulnerability manifest itself? It’s the first date after a divorce, discussing race with your coworkers, attempting to conceive after a miscarriage, starting a business, watching a child leave for college, apologizing to a coworker, receiving feedback, being fired, and firing someone. As you may expect, vulnerable experiences are difficult. They make us feel nervous, afraid, and unsure.
We’ve all experienced vulnerability, but there are still many harmful stereotypes about it, the first of which is that it’s a weakness. When we are faced with uncertainty, risk, or emotional exposure, we do feel vulnerable. In 2014, however, Brené Brown asked brave soldiers to cite a single example of heroism that they had witnessed or experienced that did not require vulnerability. As it turned out, no soldier could think of a single act of bravery that did not necessitate enormous vulnerability management. In other words, vulnerability necessitates bravery rather than weakness.
Vulnerability is linked to all emotions, not just hard emotions like courage. “To feel is to be vulnerable,” as the saying goes. Believing that vulnerability is a sign of weakness is the same as believing that feelings are a sign of weakness.” We are emotional beings, and vulnerability is the source of some of the most powerful emotions humans can feel, such as love, belonging, and joy. Furthermore, there is no creativity or invention without vulnerability. But why? Nothing is more unpredictable than the creative process, and there can be no invention without failure.
“It’s incredibly difficult to have ideas,” says comedian Amy Poehler. It takes a lot of courage to put oneself out there, to be vulnerable, but those who do so are the dreamers, thinkers, and artists. They are the world’s magical folk.” Finally, the core skills that make up courageous leadership are our ability to change, have difficult conversations, provide tough feedback, and resilience, all of which are born of vulnerability.
One of author Brené Brown’s first unpleasant truths came during the early stages of her company’s development. She was seated at a table with her team after they requested an hour to meet, and she had the awful sensation she was about to hear complaints and everything she was doing wrong. “We need to rumble with you on a growing issue about how we’re working together,” her CFO said. Brown was taken aback as Charles stated how Brown was bad at calculating time. She had a habit of setting unreasonable deadlines that her colleagues failed to reach, resulting in burnout.
While hearing the criticism was difficult, Brown appreciated the clarity and feedback. Why? To be clear is kind, while to be vague is hurtful. When we feed someone half-truths or nonsense to make them feel better, we are usually doing so to make ourselves feel better, which is rude. Furthermore, it is rude to not be upfront with a colleague about your expectations because it is too difficult, but then hold them accountable or blame them for not delivering. Brown’s coworkers, for example, described how aggravating and discouraging it was for Brown to keep introducing ideas and deadlines that were absolutely unachievable, only to have Brown react as if they were crushing her dreams when they were honest about the timeline and expense. Being open and honest is much gentler.
Brown has also learned that “leaders must either commit a reasonable amount of time attending to anxieties and feelings, or squander an outrageous amount of effort trying to regulate ineffective and unproductive conduct.” For example, you may find yourself repeatedly speaking with an employee about the same issue. You can make up a tale about the person’s behavior being tough, or you might convince yourself that he is simply testing you. However, the issue is that you haven’t dug far enough. You haven’t had a difficult talk yet. Brown proposes that you simply stop talking at this point.
That’s correct. Stop talking and pay attention. Pay attention. Don’t try to get them get to their point faster by formulating a response while they’re talking. Simply listen and leave plenty of breathing room in the dialogue. Another essential step is to quit blaming themselves for their feelings. Others are free to be angry, unhappy, startled, or elated, but limits must be established. Being furious, for example, is OK, but yelling is not. It’s fine to be frustrated, but interrupting others and rolling your eyes is not. Emotions and differing points of view are acceptable, but passive-aggressive remarks are not. Finally, taking a break is OK. Call a time-out when a meeting gets unproductive and allow everyone ten minutes to go around or collect their breath.
Noises, diversions, and cynics in the stands may make the workplace feel like an arena, a place where we’re striving to be incredibly bold but also become confused and overwhelming. When the cynics become too loud, we may feel tempted to leave the arena. We put other people’s voices ahead of our own in these circumstances, and we forget why we entered the arena in the first place. Above all, we lose sight of our values.
When you think about it, our principles are frequently what bring us into the arena – we are willing to do something risky and uncomfortable because of our convictions. So, when things don’t go as planned in the arena, our beliefs serve as a reminder of why we entered, especially when we’re facedown in the dirt, drenched in sweat and blood. Daring leaders use their principles as a North Star to guide them through difficult times. They act in accordance with their values and are transparent about what they believe and value. As a result, they make sure that their words, ideas, and actions are consistent with their values.
So, what is your guiding light? What are your most sacred values? If you don’t take the effort to establish and name your values, you won’t be able to keep connected with them. When presented with this dilemma, many people ask, “Should I determine my personal or professional values?” The problem is that we only have one set of values. Values should not change depending on the situation. Then you should start by establishing a list of values that are essential to you. Many people prefer to choose between ten and fifteen, so this may be challenging. You can probably name fifteen, but your fundamental values must be reduced to two. But why are there just two? If you have a big list of principles that you hold dear, none of them are genuinely influencing your actions. As a result, those values devolve into a list of meaningless phrases.
Faith and bravery are Brené Brown’s two guiding beliefs. Her family is obviously important to her as well, so why doesn’t she make it a fundamental value? While her family is the most important thing in her life, she recognized that her devotion to them is powered by her faith and courage. She uses her courage and faith, for example, when she declines an excellent job offer in order to spend more time with her family. So pick one or two values, keep them close, and use them to guide you through the dark.
When our trustworthiness is called into question, we often feel the most vulnerable. It’s almost as though we instantly convert, activating our shields, putting on our armor, and closing our hearts. Because our limbic system has been hijacked, sending us into emotional survival mode, we struggle to understand anything that is stated once we are in lockdown mode. While the majority of us believe we are trustworthy, we only trust a small number of our coworkers. Something doesn’t seem right.
According to Charles Feltman, trust is defined as “the willingness to risk making something you value exposed to the acts of another person.” As a result, distrust means deciding that “what is vital to me in this scenario (or any situation) is not safe with this individual.” With these definitions, it’s simple to see why when the subject of trust comes up, we go into survival mode. Trust is a difficult topic to discuss, yet it is one of the most crucial principles that any business can maintain; it is the glue that holds teams and companies together. So, before we can start building trust within an organization, we need to first define what trust is.
Brené Brown coined the acronym BRAVING to represent the seven behaviors that foster trust, and it can be a valuable tool for assessing various strengths and weaknesses within a working relationship. Boundaries are represented by the letter B. This entails respecting one another’s boundaries and asking questions if you’re not sure what’s acceptable. You must also be willing to say no when setting boundaries. The R stands for dependability, or accomplishing what you say you’re going to do. This entails being conscious of your capabilities and limitations so you don’t overpromise and can keep your promises.
The letter A stands for accountability, which is accepting responsibility for your actions, apologizing, and making remedies. The V stands for vault next. Consider your mind as a vault of information that has been shared with you by others; you should not reveal facts or experiences that are not yours. Confidentiality must be maintained, which involves not disclosing information about other persons that should be kept private. The letter I stands for integrity, which is choosing courage above ease. You prioritize what is right over what is enjoyable, quick, or simple. And instead of just talking about your values, you choose to live them.
The letter N stands for non-judgment, which implies you can ask for what you need and communicate about how you’re feeling without fear of being judged. Finally, the G stands for generosity, which means you continuously perceive others’ intentions, words, and actions generously. You can become a daring leader who is both courageous and trustworthy by using the BRAVING inventory.
When you go skydiving, you spend a lot of time practicing landings. You learn how to prepare for a harsh fall by leaping off a ladder to avoid breaking limbs, serious injuries, and so on. The same is true in leadership: you can’t expect people to be daring and take risks if you don’t prepare them for the inevitable setbacks! Daring leaders must therefore learn to be resilient.
In her leadership studies, Brené Brown discovered some surprising results about the timing of teaching resilience skills. After a setback or loss, executives and executive coaches frequently gather employees and attempt to teach resilience. It’s akin to showing first-time skydivers how to land after they’ve taken off. Or, much worse, as they’re falling. To put it another way, time is critical when it comes to training leaders resilience skills. In fact, in order to develop brave, courageous leaders, these abilities must be taught early on.
When people are taught how to get up after falling and failing early on, they are more likely to succeed. As a result, they’ll be more equipped to bounce back and more eager to take calculated risks. “We expect you to be brave,” it basically says to leaders. That you should anticipate falling. We’ve devised a strategy.” Companies that fail to teach resilience skills to their employees are effectively discouraging people from becoming daring leaders. With millennials accounting for 35% of the American workforce (the largest group), educating people how to accept failure as a learning opportunity is even more critical.
Because millennials haven’t learned how to have difficult talks and instead rely on technology to do so, Brown’s organization makes it a priority to teach failing and resilience skills right away. “I never learned how to conduct these types of conversations,” almost every millennial who participates in the Daring Leadership program admits. I’d never been taught about emotions or how to talk about failure so frankly, and I’d never seen it demonstrated. These difficult face-to-face interactions are awkward and stressful when you’re used to using technology for everything.” It is the company’s responsibility to normalize failure, extend perspectives, and encourage employees to be daring.
We turn to certain behaviors that build a wall around us to protect us from the scary world from a young age to avoid feelings of hurt and disappointment. However, if we want to be brave and daring leaders, we must be vulnerable and knock down these barriers. Breaking down barriers entails understanding defense mechanisms in ourselves as well as identifying behaviors that we may not realize are causing us harm in the first place. We discussed the myths of vulnerability in the first chapter. Now, it’s time to discuss the mythology surrounding perfectionism.
One of the biggest myths surrounding perfectionism is the myth that perfectionism is about striving for excellence. In reality, perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; instead, it is a defensive move. Furthermore, it is not about self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval. Most perfectionists grew up being praised for achievement and performance, like grades, manners, people-pleasing, sports, etc. But somewhere along the way, they adopted a dangerous belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it.
A healthy strive for excellence happens when we are focused on ourselves and ask questions, like how can I improve? Perfectionism, on the other hand, is focused on pleasing others and these people ask what will people think? Furthermore, research shows that perfectionism is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis, or missed opportunities. The fear of failing, making mistakes, not meeting people’s expectations, or even being criticized keeps these people out of the arena – a place we need to be to grow and engage in healthy competition, a place where striving for greatness can truly occur.
Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system. This is because perfection doesn’t exist, it’s an unattainable goal that many people find themselves striving for. It’s about perception rather than internal motivation, and there is no way to control perception, no matter how much we try. Perfectionism is addictive because when we do feel those vulnerable feelings like shame, judgment, and blame, we often make the excuse of, “I just wasn’t perfect enough.” We don’t question the faulty logic of perfectionism; instead, we become more fixed in our quest to do everything perfectly. In the end, a daring leader takes off the armor of perfectionism andunderstands that failure will happen and mistakes will be made. And in understanding this, they develop the courage they need to become a successful, daring leader.
In today’s world, leaders are becoming less courageous and less authentic. As a result, Brené Brown feels that the world needs a revolution. We need to take off our armor, rumble with vulnerability, live into our values, trust with open hearts, and learn to rise so we can reclaim authorship of our own stories and lives. Essentially, Brown believes that becoming courageous is a rebellion. This is because courage requires us to dismiss everything we think we know about leadership and understand that when we choose to become a daring leader, we are choosing to start a revolution – one in which we choose authenticity, vulnerability, and courage


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